The Music Theatre Society (MTS) is putting on a musical song cycle titled “The Theory of Relativity.” The cycle is written for and about college aged students and performers.
“The Theory of Relativity” is unique because it consists of a series of songs that are connected by themes, as compared to following a group of characters through a plot, which is normally how musicals are structured. The general theme of the show follows what it means to be connected to other people, how they adjust and adapt to change and challenges, how they evolve through relationships and different life stages.
Director of the production and president of the Music Theatre Society Laura Shope spoke on why she chose “The Theory of Relativity.”
“I thought when I was looking for a show to pick, I thought it was really timely with all the COVID stuff and just being in college who are handling change and connections with a big shift in our lives,” said Shope. “I saw it was written for college aged students and that it was available for online performances so that is what kind of drew me in.”
Planning the musical virtually is different than anything the music department has done before. The cast members are currently having remote rehearsals on Zoom from their individual homes, apartments and dorms.
The cast members play the music from their end and perform to the screen and then collaborate and get feedback as they would in a normal scenario. The cast members record their performances through their phone, and then a professional editor puts all the clips together into one big show.
“I am amazed at how well we have all adapted to it because it seems like something that’s so crazy,” said Shope. “It’s a lot of leadership and teaching things that we would do in person and are easily transferable. It’s a lot of working technology so I expected it to be more challenging, but it has actually gone smoothly so far.”
Music and production director Jermey Magnetti spoke about adapting to virtual rehearsals.
“I made a OneDrive and recorded the entire show on my piano and linked it to the rehearsal tracks so the cast could practice,” said Magnetti. “That was a real cool way for the cast to be able to practice outside of rehearsals and have everything there accessible to them. Because teaching over Zoom is not easy.”
Magnetti taught the music in rehearsals and gave the cast members notes. For solo numbers he had the cast members sing to him via Zoom and provides feedback, although it is more time consuming to do it that way for the ensemble.
The Music Theatre Society accepts students of all majors and year at SRU. Students who have a passion for musical theater or are looking to get involved are welcome to join the Music Theatre Society. Senior Emily Powell spoke on her perspective since being a member of the Music Theatre Society the past four years.
“I would say just go for it,” said Powell. “It can be really scary going into this new environment. I know when I was a freshman I was horrified. It was the best decision I could have made. It’s a very tight knit group of family and you’ll make some of the best memories.”
“The Theory of Relativity” will be streamed at 8 p.m. on April 15, 16 and 17. Anyone interested in the performance can purchase a ticket online.
For those who are seeking to get involved with the Musical Theatre Society, you can request to join their page on CORE and can reach out to the board members listed. At the beginning of every semester, the MTA participates in the Involvement Fair where students can learn more about the club.